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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Yes, you'll be fine with RWD, even north of Dallas. Just remember that when the weather is bad (rain, snow, ice, etc) just drive like there is an egg under your brake and accelerator pedals. Easy does it - AND - KEEP MOVING! Sometimes you can't avoid it, but try to gauge traffic, and if the roads are slick, try to drive so that you don't actually come to a full stop. I live in the north, have never put snowtires/chains on my cars and have never been stuck. If it is really horrible, don't go out, otherwise drive carefully and remember that just because you can go doesn't automatically mean you can stop (for all you four wheel drivers). In your part of the country, I would say buy anthing you want, just don't try to drive like crazy if/when the weather gets bad.
  • sosksosk Posts: 42
    PEARL, thanks for the tips! I usually don't go out when the weather is terrible; usually it's a question of getting home when they let us leave work early because of ice. That happens maybe 1 day a year here. My speed-demon days are over (wish I still had my '71 Mustang!). So I think I WILL get what I want & not make FWD a criteria.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    I agree that the RWD decision is a non-issue in Dallas. I mean, if you can't drive an RWD car safely year-round in Dallas, where could you drive one? ;) After all, I'm up here in Detroit and am doing just fine with a 325i on all-season tires. Go for the Bimmer!
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    >But I have to disagree with remark regarding inline six limitations.

    Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. I heard that BMW would need to fully redesign a block to make it 3.5 L instead of 3.0. the current 3.0 comes from successive evolutions from the original 2.5 to 2.8 then 3.0.
    Should a 3.5 be redeveloped, the overall block length increase would compromise crash test ratings, so it seems 3.0 is a limitation difficult to overcome in this context.
    If BMW want to switch to v6, increasing displacement will be easier, and this is what MB did.

    but straight 6 have some advantages that V6 don't have (balance), so I prefer straight 6 myself.

    Because of this, BMW may directly switch to V8 for their top end.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "the current 3.0 comes from successive evolutions from the original 2.5 to 2.8 then 3.0."

    Ummm, no. The previous generation of I6 from BMW was as you describe, however, the I6 that is in the 2006 (and later) E60s and all E90s is an all new design that came out of the gates at three liters. I've never known BMW to design a new engine that didn't have the ability to grow the displacement.

    Best Regards,
  • I said: The key is not "high value" but inflated MSRP

    Your response:
    You're splitting hairs. Inflated MSRP implies a value judgement. Buying a car is a value judgment, the price is the price. It costs what it costs to you the consumer.

    No personal value judgement was implied in my use of the term "inflated MSRP" at all. "Inflated MSRP" means an MSRP that is far higher than actual market clearing price. For example:

    MB E class with $5-7k manufacturer lease incentive, that indicates an inflated MSRP.

    Another example:
    both TL and 9-5 sell for about $31-32k in the market place; they are by definition comparable in "value." Yet, one of them has an MSRP of $39k, whereas the other is around $34k. The $5k difference is sheer "inflated MSRP" that does not accrue at all in terms of "value." In more than half of the 50 states, the inflated MSRP gets taxed every year of a car's ownership.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The price is the price. I don't buy your example of junk economics. You pay what you pay. I can't believe this dead horse is still being beaten.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's stop beating it ...

    Can we move on?
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    If you say so, then no problem.
    We will see if it works out this way

    but why don't BMW add a turbo like they did for the earliest 745? I am dreaming of this six in line with a compressor or a turbo with minimum lag. If BMW added some direct fuel injection, they could even improve economy like Volkswagen did for the 2.0 TFSI.
    300 HP, 280 LBF, this would make an interesting offer. Alpina does this but we need to go for the 4.4 V8 (516LBF, a real delight on 5 or 7series)
  • The comparison that Edmunds did on the A4 vs 330 is almost completely different from the recent road&track comparo. I know they are comparing two different cars in the bimmer catagory but if you look at just numbers, and the fact that the A4 for road&track was equipped with far better tires, it would seem as though the A4 stacks up a little better, than Edmunds would make out. {actually a whole lot better}
    Granted the tires are a huge issue and you can go so far as test {track }conditions to forgive the big disparity. That's why it's best to drive cars for yourself and make your own judgments.
    One other point is that IMO Audi has a key ingredient that BMW lacks. That being a certain driver friendly something where you can drive an Audi all day and never get beat up. They are much more forgiving as a GT car IMO
    Also sosk, I live in Houston where we probably get more rain but much less ice. A good set of tires for the appropriate season will go a long ways on any car. That, with adjusting driving habits when the weather turns foul should keep you safe
    Finally, I recommend driving as many of the cars in your "needs" category as possible to see which one fits you best. I would recommend a Japanese brand if you intend to keep the car for 13 years as you did your last one.
    Good luck and let us know how you do.
  • sosksosk Posts: 42
    Hi Houston! Thanks for the rec. on the tires - I'll certainly remember that. I've driven so many cars that I'm ALMOST getting tired of it. I still think I'm leaning towards the IS-250; I know it doesn't have the power that the IS-350 has, but it's got enough for me. I liked the TSX, but it just doesn't have the "wow" factor for me, and I like a little wow! And I must agree on your suggestion to go Japanese. Thanks again for your input.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Check out the latest R&T. They compared 7 AWD sedans. I think the IS was 2nd or 3rd behind Audi and Suburu. G35X was 6th! Not aging well they said.
  • shankyshanky Posts: 36
    Thought I should share...This weekend, I travelled to Bay Area from Sacramento and obtained the following measurements:

    Non-stop distance reading : 123 miles
    Avg speed reading : 70 mpg (includes traffic slowdowns, and mostly in the 80's, and a few rushes to the 100s)
    MPG reading: 31.6
    Road type: About 4-5 miles of uphill driving, rest was flat

    The car continues to amaze me!
  • in either the january or february issue of car and driver they admitted that there was a tie. its because the numbers were 'rounded up' because each category was averaged among the editors. after review they still managed to rate the 3 series ahead. anyone who read the article knows its BS.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It's BS because Lexus didn't win? Or Lexus gave the IS it's best shot and still couldn't manage to unseat the 3 series, even with some glitches with the TEST vehicle? Or are all comparos where BMW wins BS?
  • Why are you worrying what a magazine or other posters say about a car you obviously are obsessed with? Buy it, drive it, live with it, let it be bro. It'll be what it'll be. No need to have to defend which is 'better'. Its all opinion.

    And in my opinion I'd rather own the 330.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    So, I happened to be on the US Trademark website for work, and punched in "G37" just for the hell of it. And lo and behold, it came up as being trademarked by Nissan on January 26, 2006!

    "M37" and "FX37" were trademarked on the same date.

    This pretty much confirms that the rumored 3.7L "FZ" engine is going into the G, M, and FX. And that they will change their moniker to correctly reflect the size of the engine.

    Check it out.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Who cares how many points C&D gave these cars. The categories are weighted according to editor preferences.

    Read the article, decide which characteristics you place a high value on, and then see which car wins for you.

    If you want high feature content for the dollar and a powerful motor, the Lexus is obviously going to rate higher for you.

    If you value chassis dynamics and control feedback/response, (and an MT) the BMW is going to rate higher.

    What are you looking for?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    See Luxury Performance Sedans post #6338 to read all about BMW's new biturbo 6-supposedly to be used in a future 330.

    This engine will have no noticeable power-lag and 0-60 time in the 330 will be faster by 0.5 seconds.

    Looks like BMW has done it again! :)
  • My god-daughter just e-mailed me her analysis of several cars she was considering. Thought you all might like to see some of her comments. For reference, she's mid 20's, an accomplished athlete, graduated last year with a master's degree in biomedical engineering. She had been driving an Toyota Celica and occasionally her older brother's restored Alfa Graduate, but decided it was time to get a new car. She and her brother took a Skip Barber's driving school together about 2 years ago. So I guess she qualifies as an "enthusiast".

    I am cutting and pasting her comments below:


    1st place: 330i 6-speed: Overall, most fun to drive of the 4 door sedans. Not a fan of I drive, but it was not as bad as I had read. Unfortunately, expensive options and not much price negotiation.

    2nd place: TL 6-speed: Biggest positive surprise. Handling was better than expected, considering front wheel drive. Nice 6-speed that was crisper shifting than even the 330i. Some torque steer. Sporty, clean interior, nice amenities. Very reasonably priced and no BS option list.

    3rd Place: G35 Coupe 6-speed. Sedan exterior is a turnoff. Coupe is much nicer outside, but still a dissapointment inside. Powerful engine, but noisy and unrefined at high rpms compared to the 330i and TL. Close to BMW relative to steering / handling. No rear seat headroom.

    4th Place: Lexus IS350. Biggest negative surprise. No manual transmission? Not even an SMG option? What was Lexus thinking? Salesman claimed that I was "exactly" the target market they were shooting for. Yeah, right. Girls can't drive sticks. I said it looked to me like the "target market" was testosterone laden guys that have a lead foot and no other driving skills. Too bad. Nice powerful engine, decent handling, best interior, but thanks to automatic transmission, least fun car to drive.

    5th Place: A4 3.2. Attractive but a little bland exterior. Nice interior. Performance was ho-hum. Felt very heavy. Reliability an issue.

    6th Place: C350. Everything 2-3 rungs below the 330i, plus terrible reliability record.

    I'll either go for the 330i or, perhaps, the TL with the idea that if things go well financially, I might go for the new M3 in a couple of years. What do you think?

    There you have it from one prospecitve buyer who is considerign the entire compact sports sedan market.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,055
    Thanks for the comparo.

    I especially enjoyed the Lexus "I" remarks.
  • Gotta laugh at the newbie salesman's pathetic comment on "exact target market." The "target market" usually do not want to be tagged with the targetting, e.g.: moms don't want Minivans (but secure men with large cargo loads do); the youth don't want cars targetted at youth (but older folks looking for the best bang for the buck do); city dwellers don't want soft-roader crossovers (they want the most impractical offroad heavy machines that hardly ever get taken off the road; whereas the suburbanites with occasional snow and off-road needs actually don't mind getting the soft-roaders). Call it ego or whatever, the salesman should have known better.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interesting, but odd sounding designations IMO. Any guess as to what the hp will be? Over 300 is a given I guess huh?

  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    LOL! You're exactly right about that. I've heard that the folks at the new Scion brand are upset that their "youth brand" is being bought by some retiree-age customers who see the boxy cars as very economical and practical. Of course, this totally turns off their target market, who would not want to drive a car that their parents (or grandparents!) would drive. :D
  • Does anyone know where I can get a laser engraved plate frame. I want to have it crystallized by the guys at
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Have you tried an internet search? I'm sure there are companies out there who have web sites, that provide this service.
  • billyperks1billyperks1 Posts: 151
    For those of you in the Tri State area-

    The show dates are April 14 through the 23rd.
  • robertrrobertr Posts: 125
    From a distance, I saw what appeared to be a small cheap black compact parked close next to my G35 sedan. As I approached, I was thinking that I hoped the occupants didn't ding my door with their little car. I was surprised when it turned out to be a new 3-series. It was only the second I had seen in person, the first was from the rear on the road. I was struck by how small it seemed and its lack of presence next to my G35. The styling is not attractive to me, and the rear is especially bad. Add to that the fact its way overpriced and it's definitely out as an option when my lease is up in June. I would not even consider the TL because of the FWD HondaAccord platform and the quality issues my friend has had with his (headliner falls down, paint falls off, etc.) The Lexus shotcomings are as you mentioned - it will probably steal some sales from BMW automatic buyers -its styling and size seem similar to the BMW. While the Infiniti coupe is a great looking car, I like the practicality and convenience of the sedan, and IMHO I think the sedan looks better for a sedan than the coupe does for a coupe. I was going to test drive the new 3-series, but that is no longer necessary. It may handle a litte better than the G35, but so does a go cart, and it's not enough better to make a difference when size, styling, and other factors are considered. I am looking forward to a 2007 6MT G35(or G37?)sedan, but I'll exercise my purchase option or get a short lease on a 2006 if I can't get the 2007 before I have to turn my 2003 6MT in. As far as I'm concerned, there are still no real competitors to the G35 in a RWD 6MT sedan.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    "As far as I'm concerned, there are still no real competitors to the G35 in a RWD 6MT sedan."

    Possibly why you are not called upon by the auto enthusiast press to offer your expertise to the public. This is a fairly pathetic comment that, in combination with the rest of your "opinion", holds little value for anyone looking for a realistic review of the distinctions of these fine cars.

    The BMW, Lexus, Acura, MB, et al are all fine examples of their maker's take on the small sporty sedan category. They may have a similar mission and respective execution toward that mission may be similar in some respects, but all are not viewed the same by each consumer due to unique qualities of the driving and ownership experinece important to each individual.

    My guess is that your perceptions may most likely NOT be widely agreed upon... maybe I'm wrong.
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